He has a staggering seven nominations at the Billboard Music Awards and will come to the UK to headline festivals this summer.
“Lagos is entirely unique,” said Cameron Bailey the programme curator in a statement. “The city of Fela Kuti’s music has also given birth to one of the world’s most vibrant film industries.
Whether it’s through hip-hop, R&B, Top 40 radio or Internet memes, Drake is a ubiquitous presence on our cultural landscape. Yet for all of his inescapable hits in the past few years, it was only in May that Drake finally topped the Billboard charts.
If you want a city that’s a modern musical powerhouse, you don’t need to think of London or Los Angeles or New York.
As the curtain falls on the first Nigerian musical to make the leap to a London theater, its executive producer is setting her sights higher still.
London has long been one of the world’s most influential pop culture centers, particularly with fashion and music.
“The first thing he asked was ‘Are you the one who said that you are the best drummer in this country?’ I laughed and told him, ‘I never said so.’ He asked me if I could play jazz and I said yes. He asked me if I could take solos and I said yes again.”
The mansion, the pool, the Bentley, the life-size portrait and the gold medallions are the spoils of a revolution in Nigeria and music superstar D’banj is enjoying them.
Guests sashayed through the tent doors into a scene of surreal opulence. At the far end of the tent, engulfed by servants, courtiers, national politicians and guards with wires in their ears, the celebrant perched beside his wife on a throne covered with white faux fur, his every move broadcast on flat-screens arrayed around the tent walls.
More than 30 years after he ruled with an iron fist, jailing the corrupt and championing the virtues of military discipline in all things, Muhammadu Buhari is now being billed as Nigeria’s savior.
The small gesture was not Fela Kuti’s style. With his band the Africa 70, this Afrobeat pioneer rolled out monster-size grooves, chugging along with soulful beats, keyboards and horns.
When I met Fela Kuti, the self-styled “Black President”, he was in a London hotel wearing only a pair of red underpants, smoking a massive joint, surrounded by three of his wives he notoriously married 26 in one day and his personal magician, a Ghanaian who called himself Professor Hindu.
Once upon a time, Lagos was the city where Afrobeat stars such as Fela Kuti and Fatai Rolling Dollar cast musical spells under tropical skies.
An excellent, in-depth video of Nigeria’s history by Jide Olanrewaju